Dr Laura Ward
- Research Associate (Mental Health & Wellbeing)
I am a part-time researcher working at the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory (SLDO). My work focuses on identifying and reducing the health inequalities faced by people with intellectual (learning) disabilities and/or autism. Areas of interest include oral health, anticholinergic burden, polypharmacy, psychotropics, and multimorbidity.
I previously completed my PhD at Glasgow Caledonian University (2013 - 2016) researching the impact healthy ageing has on the visual brain (functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy [fNIRS] and psychophysics). I obtained a distinction in the MSc Research Methods in Psychological Science at the University of Glasgow working with stroke patients (2010 - 2011). I did my undergraduate degree (2.1) at the University of Edinburgh in Biological Sciences - Psychology (2005 - 2009). My experiences in academia are broad but focus on health and utilising many fields of expertise and different disciplinary methodologies, combining expertise to advance our understanding.
My work involves multiple fields of expertise including clinical psychology, epidemiology, public health, dentistry and data linkage. By providing evidence of the health and health inequalities faced by those with intellectual (learning) disabilities, my work can inform government and NHS policy to effect improvements and reduce the gap experienced by this vulnerable population.
Research interests include:
- oral health
- anticholinergic burden
- mental health